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Google ignores keywords meta tag in web ranking

Google ignores keywords meta tag in web ranking

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Google has revealed that it ignores the “keywords” meta tag in its web search ranking. Google’s Matt Cutts explains this in a Webmaster Central video

SEO description meta tag

“About a decade ago, search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not any so-called “off-page” factors such as the links pointing to a web page,” says Matt. “In those days, keyword meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords. Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began disregarding the keywords meta tag.”

This does not mean that Google ignores all meta tags, the title tag is still a very powerful and critical search ranking factor, the “description” meta tag is often used to display the snippet of you web page in the search results, while this does not influence ranking it could be a used effectively to convert clicks by using appropriate call to action elements in your “description” meta tag.

Google also recognizes the “google,” “robots,” “verify-v1,” “content type,” and “refresh” meta tags. Information about how Google understands these can be found in the Google Webmaster Tools help center.

Matt Cutts referring to “keywords” meta tag says, “It’s possible that Google could use this information in the future, but it’s unlikely, Google has ignored the keywords meta tag for years and currently we see no need to change that policy.”

However it is possible that other search engines might use the information to influence search ranking but Google doesn’t.


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Article by ZK

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • cinsel sohbet September 21, 2009, 6:29 pm

    Thank you, you answered the question I have been searching for which was whether or not to place keywords when blog commenting.
    .-= cinsel sohbet´s last blog ..Sahnede Çýrýlçýplak =-.

  • celulares September 21, 2009, 8:11 pm

    now Google is starting to have a selective measure by the customer, you can now choose which page will be first in the search by loging into your google account
    Mefan fox fotos
    .-= celulares´s last blog ..Celulares Nokia Ofertas del día 21/09/2009 =-.

    • implantes de pelo September 21, 2009, 8:16 pm

      yes, you are right, looks like Google every time looks more like delicious.
      .-= implantes de pelo´s last blog ..Concecuencias del micro-implante de Pelo =-.

      • matt@zygor guide review September 29, 2009, 2:40 am

        I do not worry about this. The average user (your customers), do not know about/understand these functions, they normally type in what the want and take the first couple of results.

  • Used mack trucks September 21, 2009, 10:54 pm

    Google is daily updating its algorithm and it makes sense with the current criteria of search results. These varying patterns for search results almost make difference in search ranking as well.

  • DotComSecrets Review September 22, 2009, 12:02 am

    Its very interesting and useful info. Its new for me. thanks for this.

  • DotComSecrets Review September 22, 2009, 12:07 am

    Thanks for this to you and Google. It will be very helpful in get ranking.
    .-= DotComSecrets Review´s last blog ..Frank Kern’s Mass Control 2.0 Review =-.

  • Seaward September 22, 2009, 1:16 am

    Thanks for telling about new parameter of Google measure of page rank.

  • Quick Sale September 22, 2009, 5:29 am

    Ya it’s ignored mata keywords, it just consider meta description and tags!

  • Chuggin@bunn coffee maker parts September 22, 2009, 12:26 pm

    I agree that people do abuse the keyword meta-tags, but you would be surprised at how few people know that Google ignores this. I freelance write articles for people, and they always insist on detailed keywords within their meta-tags, so I should pass this post along to them.

  • Rhys September 22, 2009, 2:32 pm

    Makes sense really. Google is only responsible for one person – the searcher, and answers to such, anything which it believes gaming search results it will be against. As Keywords was so open to abuse, it makes sense to stop them (and it has done for ages, as have all major search engines).
    .-= Rhys´s last blog ..Photo Post – The Sychnant Pass, Conwy =-.

  • celebrity gossip news September 22, 2009, 5:10 pm

    Its really a very interesting post.I liked it . Thanks & keep sharing.

  • Mathew Day September 22, 2009, 8:15 pm

    Thanks for this post, you really did clear the whole thing up for me once and for all.

  • Matt@Top Rankings September 22, 2009, 11:09 pm

    A client of mine has this buddy who keeps insisting that I add meta keywords to his webpage. That stuff is so 90’s I keep telling him. I really just find meta keywords and descriptions completely useless now … if your on-page content reflects the topic, there really shouldn’t be a need for the meta data. Only in CERTAIN situations would I ever use meta data again.
    .-= Matt@Top Rankings´s last blog ..Get Rich With A Top Ranking In Search Engines =-.

    • ZK September 23, 2009, 6:38 pm

      Apart from on page content which is critical, I would recommend that you concentrate on your Title Tag and Title post or perma link structure, ensure that the ketwords you wush to target are used in the title tag and the title url of your post.
      .-= ZK@Web Marketing Blog´s last blog ..Google ignores keywords meta tag in web ranking =-.

  • bollywood actress profile September 23, 2009, 3:29 am

    Hi,

    Thanks mat cutts for clarification. For a longtime i was relying on keywords to get higher rankings.

    Thanks

  • Paul@earn money online September 23, 2009, 7:51 am

    SEO is getting even harder.
    .-= Paul@earn money online´s last blog ..Upgrade your site now before an attack happen =-.

  • Lee Ka Hoong September 23, 2009, 9:08 am

    It makes sense that Google didn’t take meta tag as the ranking consideration. In fact, I don’t do too much on the meta tag because I believe that backlinks and quality content would help in ranking.

    • ZK@Web Marketing Blog September 23, 2009, 6:42 pm

      I recommend using relevant keywords in your title tags and perma link structure
      .-= ZK@Web Marketing Blog´s last blog ..Google ignores keywords meta tag in web ranking =-.

      • Lee Ka Hoong September 23, 2009, 7:26 pm

        Yes ZK, usually I did this in the All In One SEO Pack plugin whenever I wrote a post. I used to make the permalink to be different with the real title that showed to my readers (If I want to rank for the keyword).

  • Dataflurry September 23, 2009, 10:10 am

    Wow, I always had an assumption that they placed little emphasis on the tag, but I didn’t know that they completely ignored it. Great to know!

  • sunjoo September 23, 2009, 10:12 am

    if I still use the keyword , do it hurts my PR ?

  • used tires September 23, 2009, 12:07 pm

    I think this has been known for a while, but I do like that Matt does take the time to go over questions =D I do find it funny that someone would try to sue someone else over the use of it in the keywords meta tag, hehe =D

    Till then,

    Jean

  • 457 Visa September 23, 2009, 9:21 pm

    So I guess heading tags are more important than meta tags? I think this is very helpful in on-page optimization so we can focus on the other important keywords that Google actually recognizes.

  • DotComSecrets Review September 24, 2009, 12:38 am

    @457 Visa– you are right that its time to focus on other important keywords.
    .-= DotComSecrets Review´s last blog ..Frank Kern’s Mass Control 2.0 Review =-.

  • create your website September 24, 2009, 2:06 pm

    every day google have a new way for their SERP and seo , real expert seo who are up to date with the latest SEO updates

    thnaks 🙂

  • psychics September 24, 2009, 11:36 pm

    I have been searching for which was whether or not to place keywords when blog commenting.

  • psychics September 24, 2009, 11:36 pm

    I do like that Matt does take the time to go over questions =D I do find it funny that someone would try to sue someone else over the use of it in the keywords meta tag, hehe =D
    .-= psychics´s last blog ..MOON MAGIC =-.

  • Online Drugstore September 26, 2009, 7:08 am

    Thanks for this article! It helped me.

  • Bo radiant electric floor heating September 30, 2009, 5:29 am

    Hi,really very useful post and it was very interesting.Thanks for sharing the post…
    .-= Bo radiant electric floor heating´s last blog ..Install wire for Floor Heating =-.

  • Blake Waddill @ Props Blog Reviews October 1, 2009, 12:15 pm

    I’ve never been really big into the behind the scenes stuff like meta tags. I usually just try to focus on writing a solid title and using strong anchored backlinks. Do you recomment all in one SEO or headspace for SEO optimization?
    .-= Blake Waddill @ Props Blog Reviews´s last blog ..10 Guidelines To Making A User Friendly Website =-.

  • Quick House Sale October 2, 2009, 1:08 am

    So, it confirmed that there is no more importance of meta tag, am i right?

  • Ste@Dance Music News October 3, 2009, 6:17 am

    Keyword meta tags are too easily abused, I don’t expect Google to begin using them again.

  • Compute Live October 3, 2009, 12:04 pm

    Wow…That was new to me..Everyday they come up with some new technique to make better
    .-= Compute Live´s last blog ..How to Jailbreak iPhone 3GS OS 3.1 on Windows =-.

  • Ruri @ Free article directory October 4, 2009, 8:48 pm

    Yeah this policy already exist for a long time ago. I see the point that meta keywords really are not useful, since it can be place for spammer.
    .-= Ruri @ Free article directory´s last blog ..Designer Womens Leather Briefcases =-.

  • Jacques @ Web Design October 5, 2009, 5:45 am

    Keyword stuffing is not going to help folks! Hahahahah! Meta title and description are important, along with h headers and of course your keywords should be liberally sprinkled in your content, especially so in the first 100 – 150 words and the very last sentense of your content. That is what on page optimization is all about. Off page it is all about links from relevant high PR pages, with good link anchor text containing your primary targeted keywords.

  • Free Employement Classifieds October 6, 2009, 1:09 pm

    Since other search engines still use those, it does not change anything.
    .-= Free Employement Classifieds´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • Mark Hostetler@Summerlin homes October 18, 2009, 1:27 pm

    I think that’s what set Google aparts, I think most of the people doing SEO have Google the biggest task for their optimization and then comes Bing and Yahoo. And many don’t even consider Yahoo & Bing so it may be the case that with the growing number of SEO companies and experts, Google had to make sure that only genuine people win and these blackhat techniques should be blacklisted so only whitehat seo techniques can be applied and used by them. If the tags are irrelevant to the searches then I really support the exclusion of it because as a user, I would like Google to give me proper results rather than irrelevant ones.

  • Web Yazılım Tasarım June 4, 2010, 12:46 pm

    Well thanks for the info ZK. I always knew somehow that Google doesn’t really care for the keywords tag on your site since they can index everything about your site, and they can choose the relevant keywords themselves. It’s just a legacy meta tag 🙂